Portrait of a Prophet IV
Ellen White had a dog. He was a medium-sized, speckled dog who lived in a dog house that leaned about thirty degrees to its side. She called him “Tiglath-Pileser,” after the Assyrian king who destroyed most of Israel, but “Tig” for short. Since Ellen White lived in a part of Australia that had not-too-long-ago been settled by convicts, she apparently thought a watchdog was in order. When Ellen White was scrapbooking on her way back to America, she devoted a whole page to her dog. She refused to keep her milking cows in narrow pens as was customary in Australia, preferring to treat them with more dignity. She had a heart for animals. “Animals are often transported long distances,” she wrote, “and subjected to great suffering in reaching a market….the poor creatures are driven to their death, that human beings may feast on the carcasses” (CDF, 385). As appetizing as that sounds, her issue wasn’t that people ate meat, but the way the animals were abused for human convenience. “The animals see and hear and love and fear and suffer….Many animals show an affection for those who have charge of them, far superior to the affection shown by some of the human race” (MoH, 315-216). The way we treat our animals – entrusted by God to our care – speaks volumes about who we are.